Can poems written to be won, ever win?

As I scan through my Instagram feed
I come across posts bartering poems for shoutouts.
They read, “ The best entry shall receive a shoutout from our side”.
But I want to know, “ Can poems written to be won, ever win? “
For when I write, I write to be relieved
Of the obstinate gibber stone that squats
On my chest for long
I write to commune with my
Caged canary’s mellifluous but ignored song.
When the world sleeps and I
Wake up to suffer, I hold the pen
I hold the pen to let the words
Strangulating my diaphragm meander
Onto the paper, through the nib
As the pen wriggles on the sheet,
I hear a lullaby being crooned that rocks me to sleep.
They say, you need to be a poetry first
To scribble one.
But I doubt, am too plain
A poetry to be adored.
Am not always the dripping beauty
Of blossoms of mahogany in a spring
Or the gratification that a
Doting company is expected to bring.
You might not find me in the
Shades of smudged colours on chapped lips
Stenching of unfaithful men
Cursing, yet pleading and yelling for fidelity
Or lost between convoluted neurons
Trying to figure out why my mind
Doesn’t let sunshine to slither in.
Most of the time I’m just the rhythm
Of the clinking of my mother’s bangles
Or the abiding tears which refuse to be held back
When I embrace her, for its been long
Since she was last held.
Or may be I am the dust laden
Forgotten, abandoned cardboard box
And the reclusive, forlorn one
Out of a pair of socks.
I don’t know, whether being drenched
In the orange light of the morning sky
And smiling to let go of statements
That I know are a lie
Or repeatedly reminiscing the hurdles
That I’ve so gracefully overcome, to tell myself
That I am capable to be loved, by not you
Not them, but my own self,
Matter to you or not
But they mean the world to me
And I write only on things
That matter to me.
And I feel that my words easily
Carve their way out to the farthest corners
Of the hearts and souls of people and even writers
For I’ve heard that poets and poetesses
Have naked souls.
But I have never written to win
For I don’t know what it takes
For a poem to win.
And I want to know, “ Can poems written to be won, ever win? “

Obsessed with Golden Feathers

Because I could cope with the pace of racers
I thought I was meant for that
Jostling a lot that came my way
I was busy gathering golden feathers for my hat.

Nostalgic rendezvous turned down
Many a D-days I did miss
Fearful of losing that every second
I didn’t even stand back for my granny, who came scuffing to kiss.

Despite feeling the twinge in legs
I could never dare to rest
Impassioned to lead the ongoing rat race
I erroneously christened my Insanity as zest.

Little did I know, what I desired
Would gradually prove a mirage
What I believed would give me pleasure
Ditched me, being life’s prank of camouflage.

During the days I had prowess
I was never grateful of being able to fly
Like a moron I remained obsessed
For I only had to touch the sky.

I flew and flew as long as I could
And traversed a million miles
One day when I could try no more
I found my lone self amidst a hundred isles.

Reclusive, forlorn, gasping there
I could hear my conscience shout
Busy collecting golden feathers
I couldn’t notice my people falling out.

I had a sumptuous place to live
But nobody to share
I stopped bragging about my overflowing pocket
When I found no one to care.

Medals jingled in the breeze
But there was no one to be proud
I had the coveted name and fame
Yet I was lonely in the crowd.

Heaving sighs of utter regrets, I realised
It’s not always not too late to change
I would suffer henceforth, for that every time
My loved ones I did estrange.

I left the hands of my fellow trippers
I didn’t rejoice the journey as I scaled
Having conquered the mighty mountain
I grieve that in life I have failed
Now I say :
It’s never the name and fame
Or even the wealth you gather
It’s the number of people you have by your death bed
That tucks in your hat, the sterling golden feather.

I Wish

When you grieve for the waning moon
I wish, I could allure you with the galaxy of stars
Till the full moon day
And drench you in the song of hope
Loud enough, that you don’t hear
What others say.

When I dread seeing the sun setting
I wish, you could tell me
That it sets to rise the next morning
And clasp my cold hands
With your warm ones
To succour me to pull through the appalling evening.

When disquietude strangles you
And your eyelids oscillate between uncertainties
As you crave for slumber to creep
I wish I could croon a lullaby
Praying from the core of my heart
That could possibly rock you to sleep.

When you see the stone not cracking
Despite multiple strikes
And I bogging down with despair
I wish you could caress my aching body
Stoking the dying fire of patience
And brace me for the little more pain that I have to bear.

When I sense the lump in your throat growing
Your vision getting blurred by the film of tears
While you breathe unusually deep
I wish I could give you enough warmth
So that your melancholies meander out
And tell you that you will not be called weak if you weep.

When I stand wide eyed
Clad in the cloak of darkness
Frantically searching for light
I wish you could take it off
And pull me out with zest
To be soaked in the abundance of sunlight.

When you are drained out of verve
Feeling forsaken and detested
Thinking that you should try no more
I wish I could inoculate hope drop by drop every day
Loving you enough, shaking you back into life
And tell you that there still are people you need to live for.

In the cosmos, like debris and rubbles
Notwithstanding our identities
If we could stand for each other
May be
We could be a lot happier.

The Reply

Rabindranath Tagore in Geetanjali wrote it as an invocation to God
“Pluck this little flower and take it, delay not!
I fear lest it droop and drop into the dust.
It may not find a place in thy garland,
But honour it with a touch of pain from thy hand
And pluck it.
I fear lest the day end before I am aware
And the time of offering go by.
Though it’s colour be not deep
And it’s smell be faint, use this flower
In thy service and pluck it while there is time. “

God replies “ When I let you bloom my child
I wanted to have you in my garland though
But you gulped my light and sucked my stores
Yet failed to leave your bud and grow.
Inside the bud, shielded from tempests
You think you have been valorous enough
I let you bloom to conjoin souls
To spread the fragrance of love
But you stench of malignity , making lives on my bust tough.
And who did teach you on colours dear
I don’t remember tainting you
You downed my bounties, reflected back
And each appeared a different hue.

Kneel with respect, with love, with regard
Kneel to ask not take lives, fool ( The white police kneeled on George Floyd’s neck which ensued in his death)
I gave you a frame to help others stand
And not to use as a deathly tool.
If you are such a weakling dear
That you can do no good at all
Why do you dare to harm my toddlers
Aren’t you ashamed of your moral downfall?
I endeavoured to see my flowers
But woefully there are none but deadly thorns
Who rejoice tender flesh ripping apart ( The pregnant elephant was fed explosives, the fruit exploded in her mouth)
Don’t spare even the innocent unborn.
As my vision splits, trailing through tears
You express joy over the seven coloured rainbow
With a little of those colours, sprinkled on you
Why do you find it so hard to share a bow?
When I let you bloom my child
‘twas for my service I waited for you
But you refused to bloom, to be at my feet
For you wanted garlands at your own feet too.
I’ll hold the leash of time taut
I’ll not let the evasive time gallop
If I see you, my child, willing to bloom
I swear for the moment I’ll make the cosmos stop.
You need not be a gaudy flower
Nor with an ambrosial incense
Just be dappled with the hue of love
Just smell of care for others
That’ll be my most treasured essence.
I’ll pluck you not with the touch of pain
But it’s relief that I’ll help you gain
The day I see full blooms on the stem
My child,
I’ll happily pluck out all of them. “

A Quintessential Search

Monopolized by her absence
Having tranquilized my glee
I could find peace in none
Except being on a search spree.

Inside the crevices of cracked self love
Amidst the tangled mess of insecurities
I thought I would find her
Passionately struggling for parities.

I passed my nimble fingers
All through my sleek mane
I even sought my implausibly artistic eyebrows
But it was all in vain.

I strived to hear her in the deafening silence of loneliness
Mistakenly christened as solitude
I sincerely wished her to be
One of the tattered pieces of fortitude.

Strolled I for long
On the nebulous rift between anxiety and depression
I even looked beneath
The hefty and mammoth sheet of self oppression.

Neither was she amidst the labyrinth of convoluted relationships
Nor between the phrases of Sylvia Plath
I couldn’t see her oozing from the gaping wounds of masochism
Or fluttering between the grim pages of ‘The Grapes of Wrath .
Once while leafing through the rusty sheets of fairy tales
Swinging arms as I anticipated the exudation of pixie dust
I thought I got a glimpse of her
Dubious, yet I chose to trust.

And yes, I found her, I found her
Between messy hair and bushy eyebrows
Filled in bits in the acnes
And nonchalantly propelling all sorrows.

She was there in the sweetness of nectar
And in the avidity of the lithe wings of tiny butterflies
I could see her in the wondrous miracles of springtide
And in aspiring dreams to touch skies.

I saw her basking
In the pleasure of forgetting and forgiving her ownself
I saw her reclining in the patience
That a bruise takes to heal itself.

Between each transitioning syllable of uplifting verses
And in tiny dust powder in the ray of hope
She frivolously spun around
Embracing the changing patterns of life’s kaleidoscope.

She was in the bold repudiation
Of seeking obligatory validation
She meandered in the syringe of antidote
That would nullify in her the intoxication.
I noticed her in the courage
To renew a breached trust
In the recklessness to love
Completely consumed by wanderlust.

I found her in conviction, in compassion
I found her in vivacity
I found her in the blatant thirst to learn
I found her in the love and pride for her identity.

The search took a little longer
But it eternally set me free
After multiple cycles of vice and disquiet
I finally found the happy, little me.